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CBS Eyes Silverlight For Local Video

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Microsoft’s entry into the cross-browser media player category has received a warm reception from CBS Television, which will use it as part of a community-generated content project for a network of local websites.


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CBS Eyes Silverlight For Local Video

Microsoft Silverlight promises rich media for cross-browser and cross-platform uses. At the MIX07 Conference, CBS disclosed it would take Microsoft up on its technology.

"This project allows us to empower the massive long tail of untapped local media content which is waiting to converge with the broadband and broadcast mediums," said Jonathan Leess, President and General Manager of CBS Television Stations Digital Media Group.

That project is their ‘Always On’ strategy, an approach that has the promise of offering ‘network journalism’ to the masses. People will be able to interact with the local broadcast process, according to Leess.

Details about the project followed the announcement:

The new local initiative will allow users of the CBS-owned stations’ sites to view, upload, share, rate, comment, sort and search video, images, audio and text submissions. A key component of the application is its full integration into the existing content publishing workflow of the CBS Television Stations’ digital media groups. It allows the community-generated content to be managed alongside the station’s professional content in a single workflow.

Click, click, welcome to CBS. "Broadcasting is no longer a one-way directional medium," Leess said.

We might nitpick at that, since broadcasting is very much a one-way proposition. Joel Sucherman at USA Today prefers the term ‘network journalism’ to phrases like citizen journalism, as it relates to his newspaper’s online efforts.

‘Always On’ is cut from the same cloth, judging by the official CBS description of what they wish to do with the processing of content received into it. The integration and processing of what someone picks up with a Nokia N95, compared to that delivered by a small newsvan full of electronics and satellite uplinks, will be the real achievement.

That makes the Silverlight deal look less like a technology advance, and more of a defensive move against Adobe, which announced it would have its Media Player available this summer. Adobe will be able to close the loop on its online video ecosystem, just as Microsoft really starts to push its cross-browser/platform efforts.

CBS Eyes Silverlight For Local Video
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